Monday, September 29, 2008

Wall Street, a Hornet Nest of Incompetent, Greedy and Most Often Crooked Executives.

For the last 30 year or so ever since the Nixon Administration, Republicans have been working very hard and very diligently at undermining the American economic system and financial institutions under the guise of “ de-regulation and free market”, and sad to say they have succeeded and now the results comes to bite the American tax payers in the ass.

Wall Street has been the source of evil for the American public since the early twenties and thanks to a very courageous president, Roosevelt, who decided to take on Wall Street and put some sense into it and with some good controls. Of course we all remember and appreciate the role of SEC in managing Wall Street. Even with all of the measuring controls in place, the greedy crooks on Wall Street managed to take America and the world for a great ride many times over, ruining lives in the millions every few years.

Wall Street crooks found great allies in Republican White House and in Congress controlled by the Republican Party. We experience this with the first airline de-regulations which witness the demise and raise and again the demise of the airlines industry that so far did not fully recover from de-regulations, with many airlines going through Chapter 11, not once but many times over. Every time wiping out shareholders investment.

Then we had the Savings and Loans scandal, where greedy bankers in collusion with more greedy developers and financiers took millions of American down financial ruins with their greed and crookedness earning for themselves hundreds of millions in annual salaries while small time depositor went to ruins. Again the government has to step in and put our tax dollars to save companies and managements that took the citizens for a ride.

We also witness the “junk bond” war against American corporations and stockholders with many companies and their shareholders going to ruins while “smart” Wall Street financiers like Michael Milken and Ivan Boesky made billions in income and bonuses while taking the country to ruin ruining hundreds of companies and taking millions of investors to the cleaners.

After that came the Internet bubble with bankers and “smart” Wall Street crooks funded and raised billions of dollars for start up companies with only a name and an idea, nothing on the market, but an idea and a chance to raise money so they can make more money. Of course we know what happened then; millions of small investors were ruined because of unscrupulous Wall Street financiers playing games and financial havoc with the lives of millions of investors.

To add to this Wall Street crooks decided to promote the telecommunication industry such as WorldCom raising billions of dollars for a small time company and its crooked and sleazy chairman (he is in jail) knowing well that he and his company were cooking the books yet, financial analysts and bankers where telling potential investors a lie knowing full well that the companies and their executives were cooking the books. But because they were making tens of millions in annual fees from their financial institutions they took every one for a ride ruining the financial well being of millions of investors. Enron is but another story where people and company workers lost all because of the collusion between Wall Street and the company crooks.

The Republicans did not satisfy themselves with ruining the financial well beings of millions of American many times over, they decided to tear down the wall that separated banking industry from insurance to private investment banking with the Gramm- Leach-Bliley Act that took down a wall in place since the Great Depression, again in the name of de-regulations and free economic system. Now we are seeing the results of this with the tax payer’s money saving crooks and crooked and greedy institutions. Not only we lose our shareholding and the hard earned money we used to buy these stocks but we end again using our tax dollars to save corrupt, incompetent, greedy executives if not crooks.

The Republicans did not stop with that but they also conspired with the credit cards industry abolishing the ‘usury” laws mentioned in the Holy Bible and the Quran as the source of evil in society (Judaism did not have prohibitions against usury) that limits what lenders can charge in interests. Capital One was and is pushing credit cards to so many people who bought the hooked and who if late or miss a payment or two the interest rate on their charges go sky rocket to 30% or 40% knowing full well that the people who they target are people who would use the credit cards to meet their basic needs. Of course with tens of millions of people paying these usury charges, Richard Fairbanks the Chairman and CEO of Capital One was taking home $250 millions in annual compensations. I wonder how many poor people had to pay the 30% in interest to make up his $250 millions in annual compensations.

Richard Fuld the man who managed to take a 158 years icon of the financial market to ruin made some $ 466 millions from 1993-2007. Only last week just days before he managed to take Lehman Brothers to ruin he got a bonus of $22 millions as incentives for his diligence and smart in managing the company to ruins.

Stanley O’Neil the man whose management precipitated the loss of independence of Merrill Lynch as another icon of Wall Street and who managed to lose tens of billions of dollars while presiding over Merrill Lynch walked away with $161 millions in incentives when he left Merrill Lynch last October.

While the “smart guys” of Wall Street tried to tell us poor people how to manage our money and not to borrow too much money they were making tens of millions of dollars in annual fees and compensations while borrowing $30 or $ 50 for every dollar they have in assets. All of this confirms the collusion between and among the elites that ran Wall Streets. Of course it is not their money but the people’s money. No one can tell me that a CEO can take home 50% of the net income of a public company that he is entrusted to run and do this for many years and awards severance package worth hundreds of millions for an associate of his before they had a fall out and someone who was there for only few months. Disney was a company that benefited from such greedy and unscrupulous management.

It is too bad that we in American make it a crime for the Mafia to charge “usury” interest rates similar to those charged by the credit card company yet make it legal for the credit card companies to fleece the consumers. Perhaps the Mafia should engage lobbyist who can take up it business model and get the blessing of a Republican Administration and a Republican Congress.

One must not also forget the international banking crises of the 70’s when all major and international banks like City Bank lent tens of billions of dollars to nations runs by crooks and thugs and dictators. We also must not forget Milton Freedman and the University of Chicago where international graduates went back to their countries and tried their hand at ideology and thoughts of Milton Freedman with the end results that they took their countries and people to financial ruins in countries like Argentina, Brazil and many other Latin America and we must not forget the greedy American crooks who precipitated the Mexican currency crises and the financial ruins of the Asia Tiger countries. When we all think about it, Wall Street with its greedy, sleazy, incompetent, reckless and more often crooked manager as behind almost every financial crises and ruins in the world. That is why it time to put Wall Street out of business. No one can think a corporation or an economy can run on quarter to quarter calls from Wall Street proven not so brilliant analyst and managers. It is true the Peter Principal applies to every executive on Wall Street. They rise to their level of incompetence while making hundreds of millions in fees, bonuses, and incentives. What a nation and what a Street?

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